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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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German ex-partner.   Now., against its will, Moscow found itself in tbe
opposite camp, the one which was morally c clean ?  the one which
had condemned those crimes.    The change of slogans was immaterial to
the masters of Russia, but the camp which they had joined was the one
where the members had entered the war with strictly defined aims, and
whose leaders, fortified in a castle of moral values, had proclaimed a war
against Nazi insanity, against dictatorship, against  might before right/
and above all else, against the enslavement of Europe; whose leaders had
sworn to restore Poland, had not agreed to the Russian occupation of the
Baltic States, and who had even shown a willingness to go to war with
that country over the freedom of Finland.   These war aims of the United
Nations were a well-known and an integral part of their creed.   The
Allied leaders had repeated them in hundreds of speeches.   Their slogans
were universal and not only directed against Hitler, but against anyone
with similar designs,  liberty for all nations, a return to the Europe
which had been overthrown by Hitler.   But such ideas so solemnly
expressed by the leaders of the two Greatest World Powers on August 14,
1941, in the Atlantic Charter, proclaiming the four freedoms for mankind,
were entirely fore-ga to the master of the Kremlin.   For the time being
the Russian war aims were limited to ihc continents of Europe and Asia.
Primarily defeated in the field, tlie Kremlin, during the first moments of
shock and surprise, had proclaimed its consent to the " basic propositions "
as laid down in the Atlantic Charter. But, when signing this adherence
in London on September 29, 1941, the Ambassador, Ivan Maisky, on
behalf of the Soviet Government had simultaneously added a long
Declaration which in seme points differed materially from that of the
Charter.   Thus, from the first moment, the Kremlin clearly presented
the particular character of its own war aims which were, not only the
preservation, but the territorial expansion of the Soviet system.   The
Declaration was either careful to omit some of the delicate paragraphs of
the Charter, or veiled them in the phraseology usual to Communism.
The Kremlin considered itself bound by the ideological thesis of the
Atlantic Charter, only so far as it corresponded with its own war aims.
The first and most important article of the Charter, that ** their countries
(i.e., signatory Powers) seek no aggrandisement, territorial or otherwise/*
was left out of die Soviet Declaration, simply because the Soviet Union,
* fighting imperialism, expands exclusively by the voluntary adherence of
new republics/   Yet in reality the Soviets never at any time considered
the question of territorial changes according to " the freely expressed
wish of the people concerned," since, to them,c the wishes of the people *
meant solely the wishes of that group of Communists or pro-Russians
among those people.*
* A detailed comparison of both documents, the Atlantic Charter and the
Soviet Declaration, point by point has been idade by Dallin, D. J., in hi&Russiamd
Post-war Europe, pp. 134-143.